Hybrid Warfare

1 Şubat 2022

The current style of warfare can be described under the heading Full Spectrum Warfare. Hybrid Warfare method is widely used in this. Hybrid War is continued in the struggle for supremacy between the forces in peace conditions. The Russians also call it Non-Linear Warfare. There is Non-Linear Warfare in the Hybrid Warfare method developed with the General Geresmov Doctini. They named the war that the Russians practiced in Ukraine as Hybrid War. This statement has been accepted by the US, European and NATO authorities today.

Today, the bloc originating from NATO, the USA and Europe (known as the Western Bloc during the Cold War) and the bloc originating from Russia and the Collective Cooperation Organization (the Eastern Bloc with the same view) are facing each other. The Russians also had the support of the Chinese, I will talk about this later. You will say, “There is already the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.” It is true. However, it would be useful to explain in a few sentences the expectations or concerns of China in the Ukraine crisis.

In this case, the method applied in the power struggle and tension that starts from the Black Sea line to the Baltic line is the Hybrid War. In it diplomatic, military, cyber, immigration, terrorism, energy, economic, psychological, etc. Every method has its application.

Hybrid threats and war are today’s terms. Irregular Warfare operations were described to us as Hybrid Warfare by Frank G. Hoffman in 2007. Once it became popular, Hybrid Warfare was clearly defined in 2009. Also, Hoffman’s definition of Hybrid Warfare was later used interchangeably with the term Gray Zone Operations. As you know, today the USA and Russia started a discussion with the phrase “Influenced Areas”. The situation of the countries within these Influence Zones is maintained with the Gray Zone Operations. The goal is to obtain a penetration indicator based on shades of gray.

The fact that the tactical conflicts and applied operations are open to the use of force in the Hybrid War of the great states absolutely requires a strategic point of view. The strategic point of view is all about creating and using force, developing the time, place and conditions for this (even finding the necessary innovations and directing them to the field), all of the related activities.

Traditional Western concepts of warfare XXI. It does not correspond to the realities of the conflict of the century. The emergence of the Unipolar World order after the Cold War caused a significant paradigm shift. This change required the United States and its allies to adopt a new legal, psychological, and strategic understanding of war and the use of force, particularly by state actors. The term Hybrid Warfare (Hybrid Threats) refers to the use of conventional military force supplemented by the tactics of Irregular Warfare and Cyber ​​Warfare. In practice, the concept of Non-Linear Conflict of Russian origin is a content of the Hybrid Warfare method.

Everything has changed, the war too. In general, in this environment, the aims of the great states are to create an advantageous situation for themselves, to increase the complexity and manage it and to gain benefits, to develop technology, to benefit, to establish superiority and ultimately to increase dominance. If the crises are over, even creating new crises is a method. Therefore, frozen problems can be exacerbated when necessary, or if there is an opponent who does this, it is necessary to confront them immediately.

If the great powers list their gains in their Domains of Influence one after the other and gain more power than their opponent, they will be the winner of the war.

For great powers, not taking the initiative, not taking risks and standing back means inflicting strategic losses. Filling the gap on the field immediately is the key to winning. In this case, crises and instability that will put the opponent in strategic fatigue today means creating an area of ​​interest.

In Hybrid War, great states use all conventional and non-conventional elements. Conventionally, joint and combined army units can take place. In terms of non-conventional, different special operations elements and non-governmental organizations are put into action. In addition to these basic elements, diplomacy, information, economy, digital, cyber, whatever, all capabilities, together with their networks, exist in a decentralized way in an environment of chaos and instability, and they affect the situation.

Let’s explain the strategy approach for Hybrid Warfare. It is the whole of plans and policies that include the long-term deliberate efforts of a state or power, by combining political, military, diplomatic, economic and technological tools, by following all kinds of ways in certain geographies, in order to develop its higher interests.

For example, what is Russia’s or the USA’s Eastern Mediterranean Strategy? For example, if Russia is simultaneously interested in Syria, Libya, Egypt, Gulf States, and Southern Cyprus, if there are mercenaries, weapons systems including unflagged aircraft and helicopters used by them, also if governments, local governments and communities are affected, if comprehensive Cyber ​​War methods are applied, economic If the measures are widely used and such activities push the region into uncertainty and instability at the same time, it is clear that there is a strategic Hybrid Warfare application here. However, if there is Russia in an area (Eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea, etc.), the USA will be present, and if the USA exists, Russia will also be present. Russia’s targets or enemies in such a strategy are not only Ukrainian nationalists or Syrian rebels, for example, but as a whole, since it operates in the Gray Zone, its main rivals in the same areas are the Western world, primarily the USA. So, for example, the Eastern Mediterranean will be considered as a game of two superpowers at the same time. Whatever the USA will do here, it will use it together with Hybrid War methods.

For example, if a rough assessment is made regarding the Ukraine crisis, since Russia cannot exert more influence on Western-supported Ukraine, in these circumstances, with the opposite approach; As the western side increases its pressure, Russia’s influence on Ukraine may also decrease. Under such conditions, if Russia accepts a conventional war, it will lose itself. In this case, the Western side will choose to pull Russia to the bottom and force all its power. It was seen that the Joe Biden administration implemented this style of conduct in 2021. However, since we have dealt with the subject from a theoretical point of view, we are asking what is emerging? The answer is as follows: Russia attacked and suppressed Ukraine with Hybrid War (Non-Linear Warfare or Gerasimov Doctrine); on the contrary, the Western world responded with the application of Full Spectrum Warfare and Intelligent Power. The actor implementing Hybrid Warfare must always consider the big picture and strategic dimension when in a field with many operations and tactical initiatives. The term Hybrid Warfare, then, describes a strategy that also uses traditional military force, supplemented by the tactics of Irregular Warfare and Cyber ​​Warfare.

We describe war processes with many concepts such as tactics, strategy, retaliation, deterrence, deception, attack, defense. All of these concepts are used interchangeably in cyberspace. This means that this is a world where there is war, and moreover, even a peace cannot be made yet. What is happening is just being sucked into, and the authorities are focusing on taking the necessary measures. What we hear about criminal matters is personal and everyday matters. However, the target of cyber attacks can be democracy, leaders and decision mechanisms. Targets can be chosen in this way, or they can be in the form of key electricity and water systems, nuclear capabilities, pipelines. In fact, the past examples of Russian and Chinese attacks on these targets will be remembered.

Is it the USA, Russia and China described here? Is the war taking place on these fronts? That’s what’s frightening, these countries (USA, China, Russia, England, Israel, especially…) are constantly spreading examples, taking advantage of having the necessary infrastructure to control the situation. We will have knowledge. Being informed is not winning. The losers are those outside the specified countries.

Where is the war happening? In gray areas. What is the architecture of attacks and defenses? Hybrid, many intertwined methods are applied at the same time. The human factor is again at the forefront in this war, whose weapons and bullets are mounted on digital machines of various kinds. These are not simple matters. Precautions must be taken in every aspect. Daily works, choices, thoughts, fingerprints on the keyboard and heartbeats of target individuals entering the system and circulating are followed. Will there be peace in Hybrid War covering these gray areas? No. That is, since peace cannot be mentioned in this challenge of the virtual world, the first step to take is to deter the opponent. A country has to demonstrate that it has the capacity to deter another country. At least that is the current situation. While the countries we have mentioned are interested in clarifying each other’s borders at the point of deterrence in Cyber ​​War, other countries do not know what to do yet.

China attaches great importance to the Ukraine crisis. China is a global power, with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it wants to keep the whole field under its control, from Beijing to Frankfurt. In that case, he wants to develop the transportation from the Black Sea region to Europe with his Partner Russia, completely depending on his own plan. In addition, the administration system that the USA expresses as anti-democratic is a big problem in between. If Vladimir Putin makes concessions to the United States, Xi Jinping may have to make concessions in the next step. Let’s at least keep these in mind for the unity of purpose of China and Russia together. However, in the word Hybrid War, it is a very important transfer of power that China stands behind Russia with conventional or weapons of mass destruction threats, economic, diplomatic and cyber supports. This is necessary for a strategic view. Moreover, since the USA’s main target area is the Pacific, Russia-China partnership is important to adjust the balance. At this point, the Ukraine crisis is key.

The issue of combating global terrorism is vital. It is very important to be involved in a wide variety of crises in a wide variety of areas at the same time and to be able to implement Intelligent Power initiatives there. Even the duration of Hybrid Warfare can be long, it is necessary to create the strength to withstand it. Conventional and social media issues should be studied very well. Now, it is a widely used practice to open the media and the people’s relations with their governments. Cyber ​​applications create a war method that can attack from different channels with every passing force. From an economic point of view (for example, USA applies CAATSA) attacks can be done easily. We have seen the effects of economic and commercial warfare methods recently. There are also shadow wars, these are intelligence and secret wars.

Ukraine against Russia cannot win a war of this scale if it faces it on its own. It would not be possible for him to advance in his own goals without support. Because the USA and Europe are against Russia, the war is balanced and is on its own way. As a result, the Western side seems to have entered the second stage of this war. Russia, on the other hand, is looking for a way to overcome the problem with an opening and wants to use some time. The games on the Ukrainian people continue. Can Volodymyr Zelensky be kept in place, does everything depend on him? It should not be forgotten that in a strategic and long-term great competition, the dominant powers do not take steps without alternatives. But without the need for alternatives, the US is suppressing the field from every aspect and expects Russia to at least withdraw troops.

The invasion of Hybrid Warfare comes from within, not from outside.

NOTE: Due to intellectual property rights, you can use this information by reference.

Gursel Tokmakoglu

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